Monday, July 16, 2007

When Obedience HURTS

I LOVE GOD and want to please Him. Even in that, God spoke to me through my Pastor and said that I need to empty out. Sometimes, it's hard for us to hear the word and accept CHANGE because we want to please God, but have missed HIS method of doing it.

1Ch 15:13 For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.

I just want to put myself out there one moment, praying it will help someone else. Let me start by saying that if you truly want to please God, He will send instruction. If you seek Him, you WILL find Him, though perhaps not the way you originally intended.

This is what I am dealing with in ministry. God gave me vision for ministry. He gave me instruction, and I followed that. However, the season is changing. Now, there is a newness to walk in, AND IT IS HARD! It is hard to "start over" when you've served God so intimately for so long. It's sometimes hard to be taught when you're used to being the teacher. Yet, this is the price that must be paid for a NEW LEVEL and a NEW DIMENSION in Him. As we grow from glory to glory, the PRICE GETS HIGHER. The challenge becomes harder and more profound. We must rejoice in knowing that God is just calling us to new promotion.

Over the weekend, I toiled over some instruction my Pastors gave me. I'm going to share a high-level overview of that for the sake of this post. I was "sat down" from some things, and at first I was hurt, confused and angry. YES, I was! I asked God, why would I be sat down from ministry for doing ministry that you told me to do? Now, that was my mistake. True obedience would have been to act without question. I'll deal with that in a moment. Let me share my rebuke, because I PRAY this will help somebody. I KNOW this will help somebody, because I'm not in the habit of putting myself out there like this.

Anyway, I told God that I wanted to be obedient, but that I didn't completely understand WHY this was happening. I understood the point that was being made, but I felt the "punishment" was fit for a sinner - not one who had GOOD INTENTIONS. So, I prayed for wisdom. In the midst of that prayer, God stopped me and asked me, "What was Solomon's prayer?" Of course, I said that Solomon prayed for wisdom. God said, "No - go back and look at it again." This is what I read...

1Ki 3:5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
1Ki 3:6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
1Ki 3:7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
1Ki 3:8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
1Ki 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
1Ki 3:10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

First of all, Solomon's prayer was not what we consider to be a typical prayer. He didn't "steal away" and enter a closet. Solomon was dreaming, and God asked him a question. GOD SOUGHT SOLOMON TO BLESS HIM IN HIS APPOINTED POSITION. My God!

Now, Adonijah first expected to be king, according to the Scriptures, after David died. He was older than Solomon, and the Bible says he was a "goodly" man. He was a Levite, and followed all the proper channels to take the throne. He even consulted with the priests. He did ministry correctly, YET GOD CALLED SOLOMON. He had a HEART to be king. He followed the ORDER to be king, but he wasn't ORDAINED to be king by God. According to law, tradition and religion, Adonijah did nothing wrong. However, GOD HAD NOT CALLED HIM, despite his qualifications. Nathan, the prophet took heed to this fact.

Now, as God got Solomon's attention, he asked him what he wanted. Many of us say Solomon asked for wisdom, but God showed me it was much deeper and more SPECIFIC than that...

1Ki 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

Solomon asked for a pure and understanding heart for judgment. He also asked for discernment. He was called as a prophet and a king. Now, why wasn't God pleased when I asked for wisdom? He showed me, and this was so profound. I asked for wisdom because I needed comfort and reassurance. Solomon prayed for these things because they EQUIPPED HIM TO DO WHAT GOD SAID TO DO. This is what pleased God. Instead of sending up a prayer to comfort me, I should have sent forth a prayer to make me obedient and more equipped to move where God said to move, even through my leaders.

Can I tell you that this FREED me? Such a simple revelation, but it struck a cord in me. I DO WANT TO PLEASE God, and even in my error, He has given me yet another rebuke to help me do just that!

Now, I must share one last thing. As I said, I was hurt and I asked God the proverbial, "Why me?"

God showed me something about trusting HIM through leaders. He asked me if I really trusted Him. I knew it to be a trick question, and I told God I thought I did, but had a hard time placing that trust in people. God told me that He loves His people. And if we are obedient to those we are placed under, even if they completely lose their minds, he WILL bless. He said to me, "If I tell you to follow a donkey, and you do it in obedience to Me, I will even cause that donkey to bless you and teach you. Why? Because I love YOU." See, this is not about trusting and/or judging leaders. It's about trusting GOD to take care of us in any given situation.

Now, I must say that I LOVE my Pastors. I have been confused by some things and have even disagreed with some things they may have taught or said. Today, I REPENT for those things. I repent for the extra stress I've added with my stubbornness. I AM SORRY - I sincerely apologize. I was wrong and did not fully understand the level to which God is calling me. Honestly, in many respects, I thought I could not ascend past the point I was at. I didn't believe and trust that GOD loved me enough or called me to such a place of authority and power in His Kingdom.

I am learning and understanding now. This is VERY hard and humbling for me, but I want to please my Father. To GOD be the glory!

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